Optimistic About China's Panel Industry

- Feb 02, 2020-

Merck, the global pharmaceutical and chemical giant, announced on September 13 that it officially opened its display materials R & D laboratory in Shanghai, China, which means that the company is increasingly valued in the Chinese display market. Regarding the current competition between the two major product lines of OLED and LCD in the display industry, Merck China executives clearly stated yesterday that OLED is the focus of the entire display industry, but it is still in the initial stage of development. In recent years, LCD will still occupy the mainstream market Share.


According to statistics, Merck was founded in 1668. At present, the company focuses on three major fields: medicine and health, life sciences and high-performance materials. In 2015, Merck's total sales in 66 countries reached 12.8 billion euros.


China becomes a new highland for global display


Merck Materials announced on the 13th that it has officially opened its display materials research and development laboratory in Shanghai. The focus of research and development is to develop new or improved hybrid materials for liquid crystal displays produced in China, and is committed to providing Chinese customers with higher quality materials and faster Response service, promote the vigorous development of China's display industry.


On the same day, the TCL Group announced that the company, the company's subsidiary Huaxing Optoelectronics, and the Shenzhen Economic and Trade Information Committee, jointly planned to invest in the construction of an 11th generation TFT-LCD and AMOLED new display device production line project (G11 project for short) in the Guangming New District of Shenzhen. At the same time, in order to promote the G11 project, it is proposed to add a registered capital of 21 billion yuan to Huaxing Optoelectronics Co., Ltd. Shenzhen Huaxing Optoelectronics Semiconductor Display Technology Co., Ltd., of which Samsung Display Co., Ltd. has subscribed for 2.1 billion yuan, holding a 9.674% stake.


With the rise and large-scale expansion of BOE, Shentianma A, Huaxing Optoelectronics (TCL subsidiary), etc., China is becoming one of the most important markets in the global display industry.


"Merck's establishment of a research and development laboratory in China means that it attaches great importance to the Chinese display market." Said Liang Xinqing, secretary general of the LCD branch of the China Optoelectronics Industry Association.


Li Junlong, general manager of Merck China Display Materials Division, said that the new laboratory reflects Merck's emphasis on the Chinese panel industry and will also bring Merck's global technology and human resources to China and promote the development of China's panel industry.


OLED technology is not mature enough


Regarding OLEDs that are highly concerned by the market, Alasdair Jelfs, Managing Director of Merck's China Life Sciences and High Performance Materials business, and Liang Xinqing, Secretary-General of the Liquid Crystal Branch of the China Optoelectronics Industry Association, said that OLED is the focus of the entire display industry. However, it is still in the initial stage of development, and LCD will still occupy the mainstream market share in recent years.


According to Zhao Fusi, from the perspective of display technology as a whole, OLED will have a very good application area. Whether it is a smart phone or a TV panel, Merck also has more than 10 years of research and development history and experience in this field. But it should be noted that, compared with the existing LCD, no matter the application output or specific production capacity, OLED is still far from it. It is still in the very early stage of development and requires more R & D investment.


Yan Liang Xinqing said that the OLED technology route is still immature, and there is still a long way to go before mass production and application. Liang Xinqing believes that the market is paying close attention to OLED for two reasons: First, as the LCD market matures, everyone believes that the space for technology is already small; second, Samsung's efforts to make OLEDs used in small screens such as smart phones. But this technical route is not very mature, especially in large-scale applications. "Samsung's stake in Huaxing Optoelectronics shows that it is still optimistic about LCD, but with the rapid rise of Chinese panel competitiveness, Samsung can only abandon this market and vigorously promote OLED in order to form a new growth point." In this regard, Li Junlong said LCD still has a long industrial life. Merck's goal in LCD research and development is to reduce the fast response time to 1 millisecond (currently 3 to 4 milliseconds).


In addition, Liang Xinqing believes that China should now focus on its competitiveness in high-generation lines and large-size panels. China should make full use of this advantage to develop various new applications and promote industrial upgrading. It is reported that Japan has already promoted 8K trial broadcasting at the Rio Olympic Games, and has decided to use 8K broadcasting at the Jingdong Olympic Games 4 years later.